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Questions regarding the 900D


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So I'm intending to build a new home server in the next month or two. For the longest time I had my heart set on using the 550D for this build, but after recently reading about the 900D, am now heavily leaning towards that instead.


First, a little about the build I'm looking to do:


  • Asus P9D-E/4L ATX server motherboard with PIKE 2208 RAID controller card.
  • Corsair AX760i PSU.
  • Intel Xeon E3-1220V3 CPU.
  • Corsair H100i and any number of case fans necessary to keep things cool.
  • 2x Crucial M550 256GB SSD's in RAID 1 for system.
  • 5x Seagate NAS 3TB HDD's in RAID 6 for storage (preliminary. I likely will add more drives over time).
  • 1x basic dvd drive to simplify installations.
  • 16GB DDR3 server memory (might upgrade later to 32GB).
  • Server 2012 R2 (Essentials and/or Data Center Edition & Windows 7 and/or 8.1 in Hyper-V)
  • Also hoping to have Corsair Link setup to control my power, fans and lighting. (I realize the software is not officially supported for Server 2012 R2, but I intend to give it a try and post my results anyway. If it turns out futile, I'll just run a virtual Windows 7 or 8.1 solely to run the software)
  • For the longest time I was looking at the 550D. I was drawn to the "silent" design of the case first and foremost. Being that this is a server, I very much want to have hot-swappable HDD's. My idea was to get the Icy Dock MB455SPF-B unit to fit 5 HDD's in the bottom 3 optical drive bays on the 550D. (To this day I'm not sure if this would have even been possible. I've seen some references saying you can't install multi-bay components in the 5.25 drive cage in the 550D. After thinking about it for a while I also grew a little concerned about having the drives in such a confined space while running 24/7. I also realized that this would only be a viable solution so long as I was using just 5 HDD's. If and when I add more drives in the future, I could still mount them internally, but it would be a less than elegant solution.)

Recently I began to read about the 900D, and really got excited once I realized that additional hot-swap backplanes could be purchased for the drive bays. I really like the idea of having all that breathing room for the drives, and room for expansion too. I'm leaning more and more every day towards going with the 900D.


So with all that out of the way, here's a few questions:


1. Considering I will really just be running a file/print server with occasional remote access, looking at the specs I posted, how big a difference in noise might I expect between the 550D and 900D?


2. I've found very little said about the 900D's hot-swap backplane. Has anyone had bad experiences with its reliability, particularly when running a RAID array?


3. For the life of me I can't find any mention of whether the 900D's hot-swap backplane is SATA 2 or 3?


4. The one benefit of the Icy Dock drive bay I mentioned is that is has lights and audible alarms for HDD failures. Obviously this wont be the case with the 900D HDD cages/hot-swap bays. I'm curious whether Corsair Link has any functionality for adjusting the color of system lights when there is a hard drive failure? Ideally I would like to have blue or no lights at all when all is normal, but have the lights turn red when a drive fails. Perhaps even have individual lights for different drives? Any chance this can be done? (I realize this is a little off topic for the Cases discussion, so if necessary, I'll post the question again in the Corsair Link area.)


4. Anyone here have any experience running Corsair Link and/or the H100i with a Server 2012 R2 box? Experiences you can share, good and bad, would be much appreciated.


That's it for now. Sorry for the long post. Working with users on a daily basis, I find its usually better to be given more information than necessary in lieu of too little.

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while im not familiar with the 900d other than it has fantastic reviews,,i can offer an idea on your raid

the samsung evo's literally smoke the Crucial ssd's and are at the same price range..

i run a home media server with 24 tb and over 30k in movies and eps to 5 computers and never have a streaming problem running win7 Pro and the link commander does its job well and soon there will be a link commander mini coming out to replace the original link

hope this helps ya a little...

oh and i have a 3 and a 4 bay icy dock myself,,their great but a pci card will likely be needed and the fan is rather loud so you may want to consider a quieter one...


i didnt know hillbillys even owned computers:D:

dont get mad,just joking,im one myself originally from Bluefield...

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Thanks for the input. I'm certainly open to the idea of going with different SSD's. I think I've been looking at the Crucial's because they are typically rated pretty high for their value. As this will be a server, I'm not terribly concerned with having top of the line performance. Also, IIRC, the Crucials have some built-in encryption hardware that supposedly increases performance if using encryption (not planning on it, but you never know if that might change).


Any experience with controlling lighting with that Link commander? I find plenty of talk about using it to control power and fans, but relatively little regarding lighting.


And no offense taken haha, principally since I'm not from this area :D: . Just been stationed here for the last 2.5 years. About 1.5 more to go..

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